The Bardstown Bourbon Company, 1500 Parkway Drive, in partnership with Moonshine University, continues its search for the “World’s Top Whiskey Taster” with a full slate of virtual events beginning early September. Whiskey lovers, connoisseurs and fans from across the country enthusiastically responded to the contest launched earlier this year, submitting videos for their chance to compete in the regional qualifiers. One hundred hopeful contestants have been selected to move into the second round of the competition and will do so virtually due to rising concerns surrounding COVID-19.
“The challenges themselves have not changed,” said Bardstown Bourbon Company Vice President of Sales and Marketing Herb Heneman. “While we’re disappointed that we’re not able to host these folks in person, we are a modern company with the technology and capabilities to offer an amazing virtual experience that will be exciting to watch, even if it’s on-screen.”
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The next step in the competition will consist of four palate challenges followed by a presentation element. Contestants will receive a challenge kit that includes a set of mystery whiskies they will use to compete in the virtual challenges. Participants will also be asked to build their own whiskey flight and present it to the judging panel, consisting of members of Bardstown Bourbon Company’s beverage, distilling and culinary teams. Judges will score the presentation based on enthusiasm, thoughtfulness and overall whiskey knowledge. The winner from each regional event will then travel to Bardstown Bourbon Company later this year for a chance to be crowned “World’s Top Whiskey Taster” in the national competition.
“The challenges in this competition are designed to showcase a taster’s sensory skills and understanding of whiskey – educational goals also shared by our Bourbon Steward program,” said Colin Blake, Moonshine University’s Director of Spirits Education and a judge slated for the national competition. “I’m a big fan of the whiskey flight-building exercise in particular, as it’s a great way to demonstrate a competitor’s skill in both areas.”
The winner will be awarded a cash prize of $20,000 with a contract to represent Bardstown Bourbon Company as a Distillery Ambassador at some of the country’s top whiskey festivals in 2021, including WhiskyFest and Whiskies of the World. The winner will also receive a scholarship to Moonshine University’s Executive Bourbon Steward Program along with a trip to Bardstown, Kentucky, where they’ll blend a custom product with Bourbon Hall of Famer and Master Distiller Steve Nally.
The virtual competition series will be streamed live via Facebook and YouTube and hosted by Bardstown Bourbon Company National Brand Ambassador Samantha Montgomery.
Regional Event Schedule:
- Tennessee – September 1 – 6 to 8 p.m. CST.
- Illinois – September 2 – 6 to 8 p.m. CST.
- Indiana – September 3 – 6 to 8 p.m. EST.
- Florida – September 4 – 6 to 8 p.m. EST.
- Ohio – September 8, 6 to 8 p.m. EST.
- Kentucky – September 9 – 6 to 8 p.m. EST.
- Western Region – September 10 – 6 to 8 p.m. PST.
- California – September 12 – 2 to 4 p.m. PST.
- Mid-Atlantic – September 14 – 6 to 8 p.m. CST.
- Texas – September 15 – 6 to 8 p.m. CST.